Parade BarCamps May 22, 2010

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11:00am - 6:00pm: A Day of Consecutive BarCamps

What is a barcamp? BarCamps are an international network of user generated unconferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants.

They work like this: Contributions are proposed in relation to the BarCamp's theme, in advance or on on-the-day by attendees. All attendees are encouraged to contribute and share their expertise for 10 minutes, with 5 minutes for questions/discussion. BarCamps work well with between 12 and 15 people, so during Parade they can grow, divide and multiply as participants join or leave. Using flip boards, we try to keep notes and everyone is encouraged to share information and experiences of the event, both live and after the fact via blogging, photo sharing, social bookmarking, wiki-ing, etc.

Sign up for the BarCamps in advance!

BarCamp 1: Histories of the Public

10 am - 12 midday

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We intend to explore specific cultural, physical, discursive and historical contexts of Being in Public
Through what forms can we trace the histories of our publics?

Examples of presentations might include:

  1. The history of the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground itself
    (prison, training hospital, museum, and art school)
  2. Specific Polish conceptions of Public Space
  3. Histories of the Internet and World Wide Web
  4. Non-Westerns notions of 'Being in Public' - Ubuntu for example
  5. The pre-history of the public - 'the commons'.
  6. Public houses, public conveniences, public baths, public parks, spaces, bodies, servants, etc.
  7. Police force, fire brigades, military - How did they evolve? Are they still public? Were they ever?
  8. Public debt - Where does all the money go?

BarCamp 2: Being in Public; modes of assembly and forms of address

12 midday - 2 pm

The public is a messy, unknown, conflictual and unpredictable mode of 'being in common'. It's a process not a body, space or thing.
What conditions of possibility are required to 'produce' a public or publics?
What resources / utilities / institutions / technologies / knowledges / infra-structures are necessary?

Examples of presentations might include:

  1. Performing or enacting the public: such as Speakers' Corner, demonstrations, public broadcasting, public knowledge, public services, public domains, public culture, public holidays, the general public license - GPL, etc
  2. The interdependency of public and private. - there is no public without private interests.
  3. Public process of evaluation: consultations, elections, auctions, trials, etc
  4. (Perceived) public enemy or enemies - Who or what is out to get us? Why?
  5. Previously public: trends in privatization. Is resistance futile?
  6. For our own protection - CCT and self-surveillance, privacy and safety policies, privacy in the panopticon
  7. Public rights of way - literal and figurative - what's the status of wildlife?
  8. Private Ivy: private schools, public universities, public education

Sustainable, but decadent Lunch

2 pm - 3 pm
Lunch will be made in public, locally sourced and sustainable. Maximum enjoyment, at minimum cost. Follow the link to learn more about Blanch & Shock food.

BarCamp 3: Future Publics

3 pm - 5 pm


We recognize being-in-public as something that needs to be nurtured and exercised. There may be links to sustainability in a broad sense - beyond environmental concerns.
What makes being in public possible, and why might it continue to be valuable?

Examples of presentations might include

  1. Utopian publics, the non-place of investment
  2. Future public provision, different bodies and diverse needs
  3. Future cities as fiefdoms: back to walls, gates, tolls and taxes
  4. The death of public life
  5. The future of public health
  6. Publics in other worlds. Will we ever join the 'others'?
  7. Libraries, archives, banks, museums and galleries; public records of the future
  8. The future of property
  9. Dreaming of yet-to-be-imagined publics

BarCamp of BarCamps

5pm - 6pm.

This short session will highlight the key themes, issues and concerns explored during the day.
Roving reporters and BarCamp contributors will offer their reflections.


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Chelsea College of Art and Design has a large contemporary courtyard at its heart: the beautiful Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground. We have collaborated with Polish curator Kuba Szreder to develop a programme of events that will explore the diverse, contested and vital conceptions of being in public.

In a bespoke, temporary structure designed by award-winning Polish architects Ola Wasilkowska and Michał Piasecki - assembled in public - we aim to produce a landmark event in an amazing location with a host of international contributors.

Parade will challenge the lazy, institutionalised model of knowledge transfer - in which amplified 'experts' speak at a passive audience. Our modes of assembly, our forms of address and the knowledge we share will be intimately bound.

About Us

Critical Practice is a cluster of artists, researchers and academics hosted by Chelsea College of Art and Design, a constituent college of the University of the Arts London. We have a longstanding interest in art, public goods, spaces, services and knowledge, and a track record of producing original, participatory events.

Previous barcamp: PubliCamp, July 5, 2009, 2:00-5:00pm Kennington Park, London UK

Parade is part of POLSKA! YEAR, which comprises over 200 projects presenting the most interesting achievements of Polish culture to UK audiences. The project takes place under the patronage of HM The Queen and HE The President of the Republic of Poland. POLSKA! YEAR is co-ordinated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw. To find out more visit the POLSKA YEAR! website

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Parade Launch Event May 21, 2010 * Parade Market of Ideas May 23, 2010 * Parade * Main Page


The Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground
Chelsea College of Art and Design (beside Tate Britain)
16 John Islip Street
London SW1P 4JU
Best by bicycle, although public transport includes
Tube: 5 minutes walk from Pimlico tube (Victoria line)
10 minutes from Vauxhall tube (Victoria Line)
Bus:2, C10, 36, 77A, 88, 185, 436.

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Parade Documentation: The hashtag for Parade on flickr, Twitter, Delicious and beyond is #parade10. Please make your online content locatable by including this tag.


Artist Commission: Experience the obstacles and pleasures of the public realm from the position of helpless larvae by climbing into one of Joanna Rajkowska's human-sized cocoons.

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  • Seven Principles for Public Life
  • History of the public sphere: a timeline
  • Parliament examines what the Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. The House of Commons and House of Lords each play an important role in Parliament's work.
  • Actions: What You Can Do With the City: An exhibition organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presented Actions, an exhibition with 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world. Common activities, such as walking, playing, recycling, and gardening are pushed beyond their usual definition by the international architects, artists, and collectives featured in the exhibition. Their experimental interactions with the urban environment show the potential influence personal involvement can have in shaping the city, and challenge fellow residents to participate.
  • Royal Society of Arts – Arts & Ecology Centre – Michaela Crimmin - Arts & Ecology Centre is an organisation whose role is to catalyse, publicise, challenge and support artists who are responding to the unprecedented environmental challenges of our era. The RSA aims to create a positive discussion about the causes and the human impact of climate change through commissioning, debate, interdisciplinary discourse and a high-profile website.
  • The Committee for Standards of Public Life is an independent public body which advises government on ethical standards across the whole of public life in the UK.
  • Future Cities: The Future Cities Project has a critical take on contemporary attitudes to modern life and the way we live today.
  • The Institute of Public Policy Research
  • Jens Haaning's Turkish and Arabic Jokes: In the Turkish area of central Oslo a tape-recording of jokes, told by Turks in their native language, was played. The recording was broadcasted through a loudspeaker attached to a light pole. Haaning continued his work on Arabic or Turkish jokes with a project in 2002 for planet22 in geneva, Switzerland. It consisted of posting an Arabic joke in the streets of Geneva; it did not reveal its origin, and there was no signature, simply some information in Arabic characters that is incomprehensible to most people in Geneva. And yet, for the immigrant public, this work brought humor and familiarity to an otherwise foreign, perhaps even antagonistic, urban experience. source
  • Conference: Opening of Spaces, Localization of Public Space: Warsaw 2007, part of the Passengers Festival here is the conference link and some pictures. A two-day conference Kuba organized in the middle of main shopping street in Warsaw, Fall 2009. In the Kitchen Monument, distanced from the public space only by the thin, transparent, but protective walls of the inflatable bubble. We discussed a variety of issues around public space, and art in public space; with 40 speakers.
  • Public holidays in the UK
  • Space Studios: Shared resources for people working at the intersection of art, technology and social change.
  • Travel Line: Plan your travel by bus, coach, underground, ferry, etc.
  • Howard Reingold's video account on Why the history of the public sphere matters in the Internet age.